CAPC approves funds for preservation society’s birthday stroll

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Eureka Springs Historical Museum’s second annual Happy Birthday Stroll has support from the City Advertising and Promotion Commission.

The commission agreed on April 12 to allocate $500 to the stroll this year. Debbie Davis, a member of the museum’s board, said the event will take place in July. Last year was the first year for the event, Davis said, and it persevered despite rainy weather.

“We had 50 or 60 people last year, and that was in the pouring rain,” Davis said.

She described the event, saying it’s modeled after the museum’s popular Voices of the Silent City tour in the Eureka Springs Cemetery.

“What we’re doing is we’re focusing not only on the characters in Eureka Springs but also the architecture,” Davis said. “It’s a look at different homes around town … and proves the history of those homes for people who might not be aware of them.”

She said the museum operates on a shoestring budget and would use the $500 from the commission for advertising on radio and in print.

“We try to get sponsors from around town as well to help us,” Davis said. “We’re trying to build this into an event like [Voices of the Silent City] to continue to bring people to town in a different way.”

Commissioner Terry McClung asked Davis if the event features a tour of the homes, and Davis said the characters describe the homes from the front porch. So far, she said, the museum has locked down six or seven homes for the tour.

“We’re going to talk about the water tower and come down by the hospital and see a couple of homes down there,” Davis said. “We’re starting this out very small, because we don’t have a lot of budget on this and we’re hoping to grow it.”

The commission voted to approve the request and moved on to other market fund requests. John Rankine presented a request on behalf of the Eureka Springs Gallery Association. Rankine said the gallery association is sponsoring a yard art contest during May Festival of the Arts, asking for $260 to produce a two-sided map detailing where the yard art is located.

Rankine said the gallery association has collected $1,000 to give out as prize money and has 21 entries in the contest.

“[That’s] really kind of exciting,” Rankine said. “People are excited about it.”

Once the maps are printed, Rankine said, those interested can pick them up at galleries downtown, the transit center and other places where there’s a hub of activity.

The commission voted to approve the request, also agreeing to approve a $950 market fund request for Veterans Day events.

Director Mike Maloney called the commission’s attention to the attendance policy set at a previous meeting, saying former commissioner Charles Ragsdell resigned after the commissioners voted on the policy in his absence. Maloney said Ragsdell has taken a stand against the policy by presenting “a number of Attorney General opinions.”

“I made this situation aware to the mayor yesterday, and he has forwarded this information to the Arkansas Municipal League where they will go ahead and make an opinion on it,” Maloney said. “There is some deep concern about this, because it may affect the status of some other commissions and how they operate in the state of Arkansas.”

Finance director Rick Bright moved on to present the financial report, saying the cash balance as of March 31 was $417,600.82. He said the tax collections were remitted in March, but they are February collections. He listed these collections, saying restaurants brought in $38,659, up $3,426 (9.7 percent). Total lodging collections are $30,081, down $698 (3 percent). These lodging collections include: $6,794 for hotels, down $1,692 (19.9 percent); $11,988 for motels, up $445 (3.9 percent); $3,340 for B&Bs, up $445 (3.9 percent); and $7,959 for cabins and cottages, up $234 (3 percent). Bright said the year-to-date lodging collections compared with 2016 are down $3,125 (3.4 percent) and the year-to-date restaurant collections compared with 2016 are up $934 (0.9 percent). The year-to-date total collections, he said, are down $2,191 (1.1 percent).

The commission’s next regular meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 10, at City Hall.

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